StarHub has announced activating what it called the "first commercially ready" gigabit-speed LTE mobile network in Singapore, as well as enabling narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) capabilities.
The network is available across Marina Bay, the CBD, and high-traffic shopping, transport, and town centre areas, such as Bedok, Bishan, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Clementi, Orchard Road, and Tampines. StarHub said it would continue expanding it to additional areas in a staged rollout "based on network traffic insights".
According to StarHub, the network upgrade also enables IoT connectivity, with the carrier signing a multi-year agreement with Nokia for the networking giant to continually upgrade its network using small cells, virtualised core and IP routing, and advanced radio access technologies.
Nokia will also provide network management, security, IoT, cloud orchestration and signalling, self-organising network, and session border controller software.
"Amid the growing appetite for mobile data, we are maximising the use of our spectrum assets for customers to enjoy enhanced network speed and service quality before 5G arrives," StarHub CTO Chong Siew Loong said.
"By pushing the boundaries of technology in collaboration with Nokia, we want to bolster Singapore's standing as one of the world's fastest, smartest, and most connected countries."
The gigabit speeds are available to customers with 1Gbps-capable smartphones, including the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, P20, and P20 Pro; Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+; and Sony Xperia XZ2.
StarHub had purchased additional 4G spectrum last year to improve its mobile network, buying 3x 10MHz in the 700MHz band, 1x 10MHz in the 900MHz band, and 4x 5MHz in the 2.5GHz band for SG$349.6 million.
StarHub also trialled 5G during 2017, with tests alongside Huawei in January last year attaining